IMF 'stands ready to support Pakistan'

12 Feb 19

Pakistan is on the way to securing an International Monetary Fund bailout package after prime minister Imran Khan promised to carry out structural reforms.

After meeting IMF chief Christine Lagarde in Dubai on Sunday, Khan said he would carry out much-needed “deep structural reforms” to put struggling Pakistan on the “path of sustainable development”.

He added that these reforms would ensure that the “most vulnerable segments of society are protected”.

The IMF has asked Pakistan to carry out reforms in order to secure its 13th bailout from the Washington-based lender since the 1980s.

Khan, who was elected last year, has blamed the economic situation in Pakistan on the previous government. The Pakistani rupee has declined by 20% in the past year and the country’s reserves are running out.

He has been reluctant to ask the IMF for support, as a bailout is likely to include conditions that will curb government spending and could threaten his campaign promise to build a stronger economy.

Khan and Lagarde met during the World Government Summit, hosted by the United Arab Emirates in Dubai.

The IMF chief said after their meeting that the IMF “stands ready to support Pakistan”.

She added: “I also highlighted that decisive policies and a strong package of economic reforms would enable Pakistan to restore the resilience of its economy and lay the foundations for stronger and more inclusive growth.

“As emphasised in the new government’s policy agenda, protecting the poor and strengthening governance are key priorities to improve people’s living standards in a sustainable manner.”

This would be the country’s second bailout package in six years. According to Tim Jones, economist at the Jubilee Debt Campaign, Pakistan has been reliant on IMF money for 33 of the past 46 years.


On Twitter, Khan said: “The potential of Pakistan and its people has been the driving factor of my political journey.”

He called on lenders to invest in the country and said: “Don’t miss the boat.”

Saudi Arabia and China pledged last year to support Pakistan.

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